When David Luiz completed his £21.6million move to Chelsea in January, the signing seemed to fly surprisingly under the radar, despite the excessive transfer fee – thanks largely to the deadline day acquisition of £50million star striker Fernando Torres.
Of the two players, Luiz has settled best into life at Stamford Bridge, giving Blues fans more reason for optimism and has shown just why he commanded such a significant amount of money.
Brazilian-born Luiz was already a leading light of Benfica’s back line before he made the move to England.
But his impressive performances in the early stages of his Chelsea career have already prompted a number of superlatives to be thrown his way – the most recent charging Luiz with stepping into the shoes of compatriot and international teammate Lucio.
The 23-year-old central defender is comfortable on the ball and already looks to be a natural partner for John Terry at the heart of the Chelsea defence. But Blues manager Carlo Ancelotti believes there is even more to come from Luiz:
"He's able to pass the ball and move upfield without problems. He's able to shoot at goal. But, defensively, he can improve. He can certainly be better.
"Obviously he's showed fantastic ability and quality, but he has to know English football."
With his distinctive looks, his flowing hair and decisive style, Luiz has quickly become a fans’ favourite at Stamford Bridge. However, he is also uncompromising to the point of rashness and it’s an area of his game that will have to be softened.
"He has to improve, but he will because he'll have more experience and knowledge about English football. He can still change his behaviour on the pitch," Ancelotti concluded.
In comparison to Lucio, Luiz appears to have similar leadership potential that could allude to being a figure of similar importance, for club and for country.
In interviews, he comes across as a bright but serious, team player – the type of person who seeks to set an example on and off the field. However, where he loses out may be his natural defensive ability.
Luiz is a diamond that will require some polishing, but he has already shown capabilities as a natural successor to Lucio in the heart of the Brazilian central defence. There is no question he is going to be great fun to watch.
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